SPRING STORM — Old man winter just doesn’t want to go away as Mother Nature seemed to think we needed a few more inches of that wonderful moisture in the form of snow. Don’t put your shovels away yet. I-O Photo by Buck Traxler
By Buck Traxler, I-O Editor
It’s just a sign of the times.
Mayor John Shevlin, representing the Pondera Shooting Sports Club (PSSC) met with the county commissioners on Wednesday and informed them, “We are strapped for cash, we need money.”
The PSSC, according to Shevlin, would like to run (liability) insurance under the umbrella of the county.
The organization cannot get insurance through the NRA (National Rifle Association) because the building is too big and too far outside the city limits.
Commissioner Cynthia Johnson commented, “I think it’s a great idea.” Clerk and Recorder Janis Hoppes noted that the PSSC would need to be on the county policy by June because there is going to be a rate increase in July.
The club building is situated on county owned property which is leased to the PSSC.
The commissioners will talk with County Attorney Mary Ann Ries regarding the feasibility of the request and an agreement with the PSSC. They will also contact the county’s insurance carrier for input.
With that, the motion was made and passed for the county to proceed with allowing the PSSC to pursue liability insurance under the county’s plan.
The mayor also requested a meeting with the commissioners, the county road department, Kevin Moritz and Hugh McFarland to clarify the terms of an agreement for purchase of land from Moritz and McFarland and to get an agreement in place.
The meeting will take place on April 20 in the commissioner’s office; however, a time still needs to be determined after contacting the other parties.
Jim Steele (D) of Arlee was on hand to talk with the commissioners. His district HD-15 covers a portion of Heart Butte. He wanted to talk with commissioners about the needs and concerns of the county that can be addressed at the state legislature, if he is elected.
The commissioners approved a road use agreement with the Imperial Oil Resources Ventures for the parking and transporting materials and equipment for operations over the road, including the right to operate equipment or vehicles that exceed regular size and load limits.
Before the agreement was approved, the commissioners had the county attorney preview them and she approved the agreement.
Plumbing work to be done at the main hanger at the Valier airport was approved.
Bain’s Plumbing and Heating will install a new 30-gallon electric water heater, new toilets, two new lavatory faucets, a new shower faucet and all the miscellaneous parts and fittings for $2,600.
The commissioners received three bids for road survey services from Aero Creek Survey ($1,500), Jim Hodges ($1,350), and Triangle Engineering ($1,200).
The proposals are for surveying the east-west portion of the interchange connecting road.
The commissioners accepted the bid of Triangle Engineering.
In a bit of economic news, the Pondera County Economic Development Corp. (EDC) and the Pondera Regional Port Authority (PRPA) have adopted by-law changes that will allow these two entities to be managed by a common board.
The purpose is to allow management of the EDC resources in a coordinated and cooperative effort making use of the 501(c) (4) status of the EDC and the government entity of the PRPA.
It was noted that this should strengthen the county’s position in business recruitment and economic development.
Out of this merger, the Port Authority board has been expanded to 13 members, appointed by the commissioners for staggered five-year terms. From commission districts 1-2-3, Shawn Sullivan, Bob Kovatch and Bev Widhalm were appointed respectively.
Existing members that have been reappointed, from commission districts 1-2-3 are John McFarland, Bonnie Field and Ted Kronebusch respectively.
At large candidates include Harold Olson, Del Styren, Llew Jones, and Mark Gage.
And, you may have read in last week’s I-O that the county had received a $200,000 Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant.
The commissioners moved to accept the terms of the grant which will be used in the remodeling of the Community and Senior Center on Virginia St.